Asparagus and Caramelized Onion Tartlets
8 thick asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
Pinch granulated sugar
30 mini phyllo pastry shells (2 boxes)
2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese (I used Parmigiano Reggiano)
Chopped fresh chives, optional for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F degree. Line a large sheet pan with foil.
Cut each asparagus spear in half lengthwise and then into 1-inch pieces. Place in a small bowl with garlic, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to evenly coat.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Transfer asparagus from the bowl to the skillet and sauté until it softens slightly and browns around the edges. Remove from heat and place back into bowl. Set aside.
In the same skillet over medium heat, add another teaspoon of oil and the onions. Toss to coat. Add a tablespoon of water, 1/8 teaspoon salt and a sprinkle of sugar. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onions start to brown and become translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook another 5 minutes, or until the onions are golden and caramelized. (If they are browning too quickly, turn down the heat and add another splash of water.)
To assemble tartlets: In each shell, layer ½ teaspoon mozzarella cheese, then onions, asparagus pieces and top with more mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes or until the shells are crisp and the cheese is melted. Garnish with chives and serve right away.